You take great care twice a year in checking the batteries on the smoke detector. You talk to your children about stop, drop and roll, reinforcing what they learned in fire safety. You’ve done all the right things. But there was one thing you didn’t count on – that your children will not wake up to the shrieking sound of a smoke detector.
More than half of young children, who die in home fires, are asleep. One possible reason, as an experiment shows, smoke detectors just didn’t wake children up. As Rebekkah, age 12, sleeps peacefully; she terrorizes her parents; she didn’t wake up even though the smoke detector had been going off for two minutes.
Experts know that in a fire you’ve got to escape quickly. The deadly smoke and flames spread in an instant. After two minutes, your chances of escape and survival are critically diminished.
What was learned in the experiment is that the same sound that immediately wakes adults, doesn’t disturb children. According to Dr. Sanford Auerbach, Boston Medical Center, “[childrens]
brain waves are different, their sleep patterns are different, their stages of sleep are different.”
Fortunately, there are new voice activated smoke alarms that will soon become available that allow a parents voice to be heard instead. The same experiment conducted with the parent’s voice instead of the shrieking sound had the children up on less than 15 seconds.
Stay tuned as we’ll be watching for further news on the new products.